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The purrfect companion


There are contrarian views but pundits of ‘puss power’ insist that in the contest for the ideal animal companion cats win paws down. 

They may seem aloof and guilty of operating to their own agenda but this also means they are low maintenance.

Cats are New Zealand's most popular companion animal. Over 50% of households have at least one cat. The Companion Cats Code of Welfare 2018 provides guidance and legal minimum standards for the care of companion cats.

There are recognised health and wellbeing benefits of having a cat around the house.

  • Improve general wellbeing.
  • Lower stress and anxiety.
  • Lower risk of heart disease.
  • Reduced loneliness.
  • Improve sleep quality.
  • Support recovery from mental illness.
  • Increase coping capabilities.
  • Purring has a soothing and healing effect.
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Date published: July 2022

To be reviewed: July 2023

The cost of caring

New Zealand Government site New Zealand Now agrees that cats are wonderful companions but they also come with obligations and costs. For example the New Zealand Companion Animal Council estimates that caring for a cat costs around $670 a year. Covering food, veterinary care and looking after your cat while travelling.

As a cat owner, you should at bare minimum:

  • Have your cat microchipped and de-sexed (if not used for breeding).
  • Keep your cat in good physical health.
  • Feed your cat suitable food and give it plenty of water.
  • Ensure your cat can exercise and behave in a natural way.
  • Be certain your cat is fed and cared for should you go away for an extended time.